Thursday, June 26, 2008

Miserere mei, Deus

"Miserere mei, Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam.

These words which I pronounced at the moment in which with trepidation I accepted election as Supreme Pontiff, I now repeat at a time in which knowledge of the deficiencies, of the failures, of the sins committed during so long a pontificate and in so grave an epoch has made more clear to my mind my insufficiency and unworthiness . . .

I pray those whose affair it is not to bother to erect any monuments to my memory: sufficient it is that my poor mortal remains should be laid simply in a sacred place . .."

Pope Pius XII (1876-1958): Last Will and Testament

The Times reported that the Vatican has launched initiatives to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Pius XII.

"Monsignor Salvatore Fisichella, rector of the Lateran University, which is co-hosting the commemorations, said the aim was to "clarify the complexity" of his career. Monsignor Fisichella, who replaced Monsignor Elio Sgreccia as head of the Pontifical Academy for Life and was promoted to archbishop, said the image of Pius XII as indifferent to Jewish persecution by the Nazis persisted "depite the evidence" because of "collective inertia".

Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, head of the pontifical historical committee, said Pius XII's career was "too often seen in terms of politics rather than his Petrine ministry".

Giovanni Maria Vian, editor of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said he hoped a "more rounded" picture of Pius XII would emerge.

The Pius XII conference in November, organised by the Lateran and Gregorian Pontifical Universities, will focus on the pontiff's 43 encyclicals and his spiritual and doctrinal teachings, or Magisterium, rather than his wartime role.

Vatican officials said that the emphasis will be on the "continuity" between his thought and the reforms of the Second Vatican Council convened by his successor, Pope John XXII."